WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Important: Even if courts are closed, you can still file for a protection order and other emergency relief. See our FAQ on Courts and COVID-19.

Legal Information: Ohio


January 12, 2021

Can a parent who committed violence get custody or visitation?

When making a decision about parental rights and responsibilities, the judge must take into consideration:

  • whether either parent has a history of, or the potential to commit, domestic violence, child abuse, spouse abuse, and parental kidnapping;
  • if either parent, or any member of the household of either parent, has been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to:
    • domestic violence;
    • a sexually-oriented offense involving a victim who was a member of the family or household that is the subject of the custody proceeding; or
    • any criminal offense that:
      • involves any act that resulted in a child being an “abused child” or a “neglected child;” or
      • resulted in physical harm against someone who is a member of the family or household that is the subject of the custody case.1

However, there are many other factors that a judge will consider as well. See How will a judge make a decision about parental rights and responsibilities (custody)? Therefore, the fact that a parent committed domestic violence does not necessarily mean that s/he will be denied custody.

It is recommended that you seek legal advice from a lawyer to assist you in any custody case, especially one involving domestic violence issues. For information on how to find a lawyer, see our Ohio Finding a Lawyer page.

1 Ohio Rev. Code § 3109.04(F)(1)(h), (F)(2)(c)